Fear of Being 'Goody-Goody'

The most interesting subject to study is the society. It’s just like an individual. It has a mind and mood of its own. But like all individuals, the society also suffers from various syndromes. You might have heard of the NIMBY syndrome. It’s an acronym for ‘Not In My Back Yard’. It’s used to commonly refer to the prevailing attitude of people in a community to ignore everything [even if it occurs right under their noses], unless it troubles them in some way. Now I’ve discovered another syndrome in many people [including myself] and I’ve decided to call it the ‘ING’ syndrome. It stands for – I’m Not Good. Well, it isn’t a very well-though out acronym, but I guess it brings out the meaning to some extent. What this syndrome refers to is how many people don’t do good stuff, not because they’re indifferent of the things happening around them, but because they’re afraid to be good. They’re afraid to be known as ‘goody two shoes’!

Maybe it’s because I’m a teenager and come across lots of kids under peer pressure, but I’ve become accustomed to people avoiding doing something good, just because they don’t want to become the ‘good girl/boy’. It’s like they’re afraid they would be too good and someone might say something about it. Of course, it’s not the case with everyone, but there have been quite a number of people I know who have the ‘ING’ syndrome.

Let’s take the example of a friend who has a brother or a sister. Suppose this friend does not want to break the law by watching movies from pirated CDs, she will still continue to do so, fearing some rebuke or taunt from her sibling. Then, there is the other situation when a friend detests littering public places. Yet, she will still continue to litter a place, fearing that her friends around her might think she was being ‘too good’ to belong in their group. Then there’s the case when someone wants to celebrate Independence Day [in lots of small ways] but doesn’t, because (s)he is afraid she might be accused of being ‘too patriotic’.

These events, in turn [I’m guessing again] are because of another syndrome that I’ve decided to call the ‘DOV’ syndrome. It stands for ‘Destruction Of Values’. I’m pretty sure you’re tired of my acronyms, but I think they are quite essential for my ramble. It’s the attitude of people when they say: “Don’t be too good!” or other such twaddle. Honestly, I didn’t really know that anything good could be termed as too much to be right. Like, how can you be ‘too good’ or ‘too patriotic’? It just doesn’t make any sense. And to avoid being known as the kid who is ‘too _____’, some are afraid to be good and to do good, which is obviously, a strange, sad state of affairs and is certainly not conducive to the well-being of any society.

Even if not for the sake of knowing who we really are, at least for the sake of the world as a whole, we should make sure that neither we nor those around us have any of these conditions [of the mind].


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